"Reversal of fortune? No way. Reversal of skill." -Uffish Thought
Question #91326 posted on 05/22/2018 12:42 a.m.
Q:

Dear friends,

How do I learn Chinese? I learned the fundamentals from 3 semesters at BYU and on my mission (but I served in Australia so I didn't get as much exposure as I would have liked). I've started things like watching random YouTube videos, reading a children's book, and reviewing my textbooks, but I always get discouraged because I don't know if it will be effective. Talking to natives online would probably be good, but I'm a little nervous to talk to real people and I don't know what kind of commitment that would take. I'd probably be willing to buy some app or program if I knew it was good. Any experience out there? What tools and/or study plans would be most effective?

-El-ahrairah

A:

Dear Mustrum,

I also took three semesters of Mandarin at my university and have lived in Taiwan, so I, too, know some basic Chinese. The key is to USE your language, though, which I don’t as often as I should, especially considering I live with a native Mandarin speaker. Oops.

As far as apps and programs go, the Rosetta Stone is actually really good. Forces you to have correct pronunciation and you can choose to learn simplified or traditional characters. I have another app on my phone called ChineseSkill. It’s OK, but simple (hubs recommended it to all of his fifth grade students to use over the summer when he taught dual-immersion). Idk what program BYU used, but my university used Integrated Chinese, and they have Apps that you can subscribe to (but idk how good they are; the books are pretty good). You can also get some books on the Kindle; my favorite was The Secret Garden and it was great for me because the language was basic and I already knew the story line so I was able to figure out most of the words I didn’t  know (I use an app called Pleco to look up characters so I know how to pronounce them, but it does give definitions. Also, it’s free!). 

Anyway, if you find me on the Social media, I'm happy to practice with you in your house of simplified or traditional characters. Best of luck! Or should I say... 加油!

-Az

A:

El-whatever,

You're waisting your time trying to learn Chinese at school. Those people - those people - the professors - the professors at schools like BYU - even though they say they're Republican - they don't know anything. Look, I know these people. They like to pretend they know what they're talking about. You know what I say? They don't know anything. You know who knows things? Me. I'll tell you something - if I could talk you in person - if you were standing right in front of me - I'd say, "ask me. I know Chinese. I have the best words." Even at a Republican school like BYU - they - they just pretend. They're liberal. They don't know anything.

And who cares about China anyway? I mean, really? Who - who cares about these people? America first! That's how this White House runs. America first.

You're welcome,

- Donald Trump